MOSCOW, April 28 (KUNA) -- Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that army forces who had started drills near Ukraine's border last week have returned to their permanent positions.
Russia took the decision after Ukrainian authorities had announced they would not be instructing their military to attack civilians, he was quoted as saying in a report by local news agency Interfax.
In a telephone with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, he urged his counterpart to help "turn down the rhetoric" over the Ukraine crisis.
The Russian minister also denied the presence of saboteurs, affiliated with the Russian military, in eastern Ukraine, mostly inhabitated by Russian-language speakers.
In response to Shoigu's criticizing of US military deployment near his country's borders, Hagel underlined that NATO's moves are not in provocation against Russia. (end)